Sign Up For Our Blog!

RSS Feed   RSS by Email

Sign-up for the US Wellness Weekly Newsletter and receive Subscriber-Only Discounts and Weekly Deals!

The Wellness Blog

...brought to you by the farm families at U.S. Wellness Meats.

US Wellness Cattle

Follow & Share

Tour Our Farms!

The Wellness Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Organ Sausages: General Characteristics, Thawing Tips & Storage

We get a lot of questions about our wildly popular organ sausages, so we thought we would compile a special blog post to answer the most frequently asked questions. We hope you find this information helpful in choosing the perfect selection for you and your family.

describe the imageOrgan Sausages

-Liverwurst (Ingredients: beef, beef liver, beef kidneys, beef heart, water, sea salt, onion powder, white pepper, coriander, marjoram, allspice)

-Head Cheese (Ingredients: beef, beef heart, beef tongue, water, sea salt, onion powder, white pepper, coriander)

-Raw Uncooked Beef Braunschweiger (Ingredients: beef, beef liver, water, sea salt, onion powder, raw honey, white pepper, coriander, marjoram, allspice)

-Fully Cooked Beef Braunschweiger (Ingredients: beef, beef liver, water, sea salt, onion powder, white pepper, coriander, marjoram, allspice)

-Chicken Braunschweiger (Ingredients: beef, chicken liver, sea salt, onion powder, raw honey, white pepper, coriander, marjoram, allspice)

General Characteristics

Head Cheese and Braunschweiger will be milder in taste compared to Liverwurst. Liverwurst has the strongest flavor of all our organ sausages due to the kidneys being a vital ingredient. Weston A. Price members have made our Liverwurst the best selling organ sausage at the annual conference. Overall, it is our best selling organ sausage as well. It is the most diverse in the kinds of organs (liver, kidneys and heart); due to this diversity, Braunschweiger actually contains more liver. 

We personally love the Raw Braunschweiger. Because the Braunschweiger is raw, we are able to easily mix it with ground beef. This is particularly useful if you are new to incorporating organ meats into a diet. It has a consistency similar to bread dough. Once thawed, the Raw Braunschweiger will be quite soft as compared to the firmer, fully cooked sausages. 

Head cheese does not contain cheese! Historically, versions have varied greatly by region and culture; our Head Cheese is a simple cold beef sausage which contains heart and tongue.

Color variances are normal for all organ sausages- the outside of the product is typically darker and the inside lighter in color. We do not use any dyes in our products. 

Thawing Tips

You may notice purge or the water that is released every time you freeze and thaw meat. We use none of the phosphorus and dairy binders that the commercial sausage makers use to cover up this issue, so some customers are surprised to find a red liquid upon thawing. Although not the most visually appealing, this is a natural occurrence and no cause for concern.

The Liverwurst will show the most purge as it is richest in the organ meats compared to the Braunschweiger that will have just a bit, and the Head Cheese that rarely has noticeable purge.

The Chicken Braunschweiger is softer than the beef organ sausages. When slicing, we prefer to only partially thaw the Chicken Braunschweiger. We have found this allows for easier slicing of this organ sausage variety.

With the exception of the Raw Braunschweiger, the organ sausages are fully cooked and ready to be thawed and enjoyed. Slower thawing in the refrigerator will produce less purge as compared to faster thawing on the counter at room temperature.



Once thawed, the organ sausages will last about a week in the refrigerator as we do not add preservatives or nitrates. If you like, the organ sausages may be partially thawed, portioned and refrozen. We use this method ourselves.

For some customers, organ meats recall flavors they haven't tasted since their childhood; for others, this is an entirely new experience. The palate may take time to adjust to the richness of organ meats. Many customers have commented that pairing the organ sausages with mustard or cheese, drizzling slices with olive oil or even chopping into chunks and using as a salad topping helped make this new flavor more familiar and enjoyable.

While most customers simply thaw and enjoy our cooked organ sausages, you may also enjoy some tried and true recipes including LiverloafUlster Fry, and Beef Bacon Braunschweiger Sliders.

Do you have a favorite organ sausage? Do you have any recipes or advice for someone trying organ sausages for the first time? Feel free to share your comments.


My favorite accompaniments to the liverwurst are raw scallions and sautéed chard. A yummy breakfast treat for me!
Posted @ Monday, April 08, 2013 1:26 PM by Resolute michaels
That sounds delicious! We will have to try that!
Posted @ Monday, April 08, 2013 1:32 PM by US Wellness Meats
Have never tried any of these. I want to begin incorporating organ meat into our diet...just working up the courage! Glad to know where I'm ordering them when I'm ready!
Posted @ Monday, April 08, 2013 11:30 PM by Alissa
Are chicken livers and heart as good for you as the beef?
Posted @ Tuesday, April 09, 2013 5:49 AM by Janis Bell
Janis - It really depends on what you are looking for nutrient-wise. The Weston A. Price Foundation has an excellent article on liver which includes a nutrient comparison chart that should help:
Posted @ Tuesday, April 09, 2013 10:00 AM by US Wellness Meats
Do they need to be cooked?
Posted @ Tuesday, April 09, 2013 12:48 PM by Laurie
Laurie- They're all fully cooked with the exception of the Raw Braunschweiger.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 09, 2013 2:23 PM by US Wellness Meats
Liverwurst on toast has become my regular breakfast! 
Not only is this a delicious way to start the day, but it sustains me for many hours before I need a lunch or snack. 
Thank you for making this nourishing food available throughout the country.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 12:29 PM by Mike
I have to admit that I was somewhat taken aback by the purge when I thawed the beef liverwurst. 
I actually love rare meat, even steak tartare, but I wasn't expecting to see anything bloody from a fully cooked liverwurst. 
I ate it anyway (only later came to this site and found out what it was), with vinegar-based mustard and cornichons - delicious! 
Glad to know that there was nothing wrong with it!
Posted @ Thursday, June 27, 2013 4:18 PM by Pam
Is the raw one ok to just eat sliced up? I assume you don't have to cook it first...right?
Posted @ Sunday, July 21, 2013 2:06 PM by Kristin
We cannot recommend consuming raw meats. The Raw Braunschweiger should be fully cooked before eating - many of our customers like to incorporate it into their favorite ground beef recipes such as meatloaf, meatballs or spaghetti. The Liverwurst, Braunschweiger, Chicken Braunschweiger and Headcheese are all fully cooked and can be sliced and enjoyed right out of the package.
Posted @ Monday, July 22, 2013 10:11 AM by US Wellness Meats
Does the liverwurst hold up well to slicing and dehydrating in the oven? I am looking for quick snacking options on the go.
Posted @ Thursday, August 08, 2013 5:38 PM by Dharmaja
We have no experience with dehydrating the liverwurst. The liverwurst is comprised of the 75% lean ground beef. It does have a high fat content. Leaner meats tend to do better with dehydrating, but you're more than welcome to try it. We'd love to hear how it works out for you.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 13, 2013 12:40 PM by US Wellness Meats
I encourage you to make a raw and flash-frozen version of the Liverwurst, as that is how these organs have been traditionally revered and consumed. Real men eat their meat rare, whenever possible, and especially organs. Ahem.. And how's that pemmican going? Have you made it as shelf stable as the Native American version? My credo: Get back to the basics!
Posted @ Sunday, September 01, 2013 11:53 AM by Sir Calvert
Your August 13th post said that the liverwurst is made with 75% ground beef. However, your website info on the liverwurst lists "beef trim" as the first ingredient and states that the product only has 3 grams of fat per serving. Which information is correct? And are your other organ sausages formulated with 75% beef and not beef trim?
Posted @ Sunday, September 01, 2013 1:54 PM by LJ
Sir Calvert -- 
Liverwurst and other forms of liver/organ sausage have long been a staple in European cuisine--boiled or smoked--for MANY centuries. There's nothing to fear about cooking meat. Our ancestors have been doing it for thousands of years. 
Posted @ Monday, September 02, 2013 12:22 AM by Mike
LJ -- 
Um, ground beef IS beef trim.
Posted @ Monday, September 02, 2013 12:26 AM by Mike
I DID make pemmican! I used the U.S. meats bottom round and prepared according to the recipe in Nourishing Traditions, which states it will keep indefinitely. I had been hoping it would slice but it just falls apart, even when frozen. Maybe too much tallow? I have to play with it, 
Sir Calvert, re: getting back to the basics... much easier said than done when fully entrenched in modern environment. Since "waking up" I have been taking it the next logical step at a time, otherwise it all becomes so overwhelming as the bulk of traditional living knowledge is wide and deep.  
Going to pastured animal products was a huge step. My husband commutes 1 1/2 - 2 hrs, to work (one way) and the pemmican has been a lifesaver, making delicious burritos that hold him over many hours. 
People have to do the best they can with the circumstances in which they find themselves in the present, namely an environment wherein many of our ancestors were conned into giving up autonomy and a pastoral life for convenience and dependence on a false economy.
Posted @ Monday, September 02, 2013 11:25 AM by Dharmaja
We love the flavor or the cooked braunshweiger but not so much the texture after being frozen and thawed. Can the raw braunschweiger log be cooked as-is to produce the same product as the cooked version, only fresh at home? If so, how would that be done? 
Posted @ Saturday, September 07, 2013 5:34 PM by Teri
Love the Liverwurst. 
I'm trying to keep track of my macro-nutrient ratios. 
So to be clear, is the beef trim basically the same as 75% lean ground beef in terms of fat and protein content? 
Posted @ Tuesday, September 24, 2013 4:29 PM by Scott
boy oh boy i love organ meat. 
my alternative dr al sears recommend the wellness meat co. 
am i glad i have found you,so well recommend by dr. sears. 
love that liver wurst,will those organs
Posted @ Monday, October 14, 2013 10:44 PM by rupert
Just curious how the Liverwurst is cooked? Thanks.
Posted @ Sunday, November 10, 2013 1:48 PM by Walter
- Our Liverwurst is cooked in a commercial oven, it is not fried or smoked. The raw braunschweiger can be cooked. We'd recommend cooking in your oven, or slicing and frying in the skillet (in a pile of beef tallow!) 
- Yes, ground beef is the beef trim.  
Posted @ Monday, November 11, 2013 12:09 PM by US Wellness Meats
How many grams of protein are there in (1) 1/4 in.slice serving of your liverwurst?
Posted @ Wednesday, November 20, 2013 9:39 AM by Holly Hughes
Carbs in Fully cooked Braunschweiger? 
Your label lists 6g of carbs per serving, is this a mistake? Headcheese and Liverwurst have 0g of carbs and are essentially the same ingredients just in different ratios. I see honey listed in the raw Braunschweiger, is it also in the cooked? If so it is missing on the label.
Posted @ Wednesday, November 27, 2013 12:34 PM by Eric Hislop
which ones of the above are spreadable?
Posted @ Wednesday, December 04, 2013 3:38 AM by noel
I live in Israel and shipping takes about 7-10 days. Any chance any of your organ sausages would make it here safe?
Posted @ Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:09 AM by Jennifer
I wish I had read this before letting the liverwurst go bad. I had never heard of purge.  
Posted @ Sunday, December 29, 2013 2:44 PM by Vicki
Just a quick question - I have read that you fully-cook the liverwurst and beef braunschweiger. What are the possible risks for parasites which I have heard/read can be present even in grass-fed meat? Note that I try my best to avoid any type of raw meat and throughly cook all meats even though some times a little pink in the middle might remain.  
Posted @ Wednesday, January 01, 2014 1:09 PM by Jennifer Byers
I am ready to try these on my family!  
but they'll revolt, no question, so i need to be a bit sneaky.  
Do these "sausages" taste at all like traditional sausages? as in, could i put them in some sort of an egg based breakfast bake?
Posted @ Wednesday, January 08, 2014 1:51 PM by jenny dill
I am interested in purchasing the raw Braunschweiger, and though I see that the general nutrition facts are available, I'm wondering if the vitamin and mineral content is available as well. I track all of my food and pay special attention to the amounts of specific nutrients, so it would be really useful if that information were available for this product.
Posted @ Saturday, January 18, 2014 12:26 PM by Rachel W.
I realize this question may seem crazy- but just to be 100% sure- none of these contain gluten, correct? I see the ingredients, I just wasn't sure if there was a casing and if so, what it was composed of. I didn't see anything specifying gluten free, so I wanted to ask.
Posted @ Thursday, March 27, 2014 12:11 AM by Autumn
What is the breakdown by percentage (roughly)of beef, heart, and tongue in your head cheese? I'm eating it right now--delicious!
Posted @ Thursday, March 27, 2014 9:08 PM by Dan
In your head cheese, what is the breakdown of beef, heart, and tongue by percentage? I'm eating it now--delicious!
Posted @ Thursday, March 27, 2014 9:19 PM by Dan
Thank you for your comments!  
The organ sausages are an excellent way to add organ meats to your diet without tasting the organs. We think they would be a tasty addition to any breakfast casserole.  
The ingredients that you see on the website are the only ingredients in the organ sausages, and they are not in any type of casing.  
The headcheese is approximately 60% beef trim, 20% heart and 20% tongue.  
Thank you! If you have other questions please let us know.
Posted @ Friday, March 28, 2014 10:53 AM by US Wellness Meats
Does your uncured beef liverwurst contain any gluten or wheat products?
Posted @ Wednesday, May 07, 2014 3:01 PM by Steph
can you refreeze the organ sausages once thawed?
Posted @ Sunday, May 11, 2014 2:23 PM by Blake
I transferred my 1 pound liverwurst roll from the freezer to the refrigerator 24 hrs. ago. It is completely thawed. Is it safe to slice it now and then refreeze it right away? I forgot to cut it when it was partially frozen.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:19 PM by Lorene
Thank you for your comments! 
You can refreeze the liverwurst. It should not alter the taste or quality at all.  
We do recommend freezing for long-term storage. It should be good in the fridge for a week to 10 days.  
If you have any other questions, please let us know.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 16, 2014 11:00 AM by US Wellness Meats
Very much looking forward to your liverwurst! Hope to order in September-
Posted @ Monday, July 28, 2014 3:45 PM by Annie
Has anyone figured out how to remove the casing around the liverwurst without losing a good chunk of the product? I am open to enlightenment. 
Posted @ Monday, July 28, 2014 4:25 PM by Lauren
can you answer the gluten questions please...
Posted @ Wednesday, August 20, 2014 9:55 AM by Mrs Heddi L Gambale
Do you still carry the raw braunschweiger?
Posted @ Sunday, November 02, 2014 10:07 AM by Cindy
Do you still carry the raw braunschweiger?
Posted @ Sunday, November 02, 2014 10:08 AM by Cindy
Thank you for your comments! 
Unfortunately we were unable to continue carrying the raw braunschweiger due to the USDA constantly changing the guidelines for that specific product, and lack of demand. 
If you have any additional questions, please let us know.
Posted @ Wednesday, November 05, 2014 1:32 PM by US Wellness Meats
Is the liverwurst like a pate, spreadable, or is it more like a firm sausage?
Posted @ Saturday, December 13, 2014 11:17 PM by Maria
My family loved the Beef Bacon 50/50 Braunschweiger Sliders and so I'm going to try making my own Raw Braunschweiger with beef liver and 75% lean ground beef (and seasonings). 
Do you have any advice on whether I should run the liver through my meat grinder or use my food processor? I'd rather not accidentally run $8 worth of liver figuring out that one of those is a bad idea. 
Posted @ Friday, January 09, 2015 1:19 PM by Matt
Hi Maria! The liverwurst is not a pate. It is more like a firm sausage that you would slice and serve.
Posted @ Monday, January 12, 2015 12:49 PM by US Wellness Meats
I have a sensitivity to onions, they give me migraines. Do you offer any organ sausages without onion powder, or do you offer custom orders? 
Posted @ Saturday, March 14, 2015 2:38 PM by Megan
Hi Megan! As of right now, all of the organ sausages do contain onion powder. Unfortunately we are unable to do custom orders.
Posted @ Monday, March 16, 2015 9:52 AM by US Wellness Meats
Can I use this liverwurst to make a pate? If so, recipes please!
Posted @ Saturday, June 27, 2015 3:47 PM by Erin
Post Comment
Website (optional)

Allowed tags: <a> link, <b> bold, <i> italics